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Parke Heritage holds off Braves in nonconference battle

Feb. 23—For host Parke Heritage, it was a rugged battle on Senior Night on Friday that should serve as good preparation for the upcoming boys high school basketball sectional.

For visiting Terre Haute South, it was an occasionally good performance that will test the Braves on Saturday afternoon in their third contest in less than 48 hours.

And in the end, a 25-12 edge in free throws — with both teams shooting better than 80% from the line — was as big a difference as any as Parke Heritage beat the Braves 73-63.

The fact that South went from hot to very cold from behind the 3-point line didn't help the Braves' cause either.

South hit four of seven from 3-point range in the first quarter and took a 16-10 lead before settling for an 18-15 advantage at the stop.

But after two trades of baskets in the second quarter, the Wolves gained a 22-22 tie on a 3-pointer by freshman Brenden Goins that started a 16-2 run for the home team. And the Braves were on their way to missing 12 of their last 13 from long range.

Trailing 35-24 after that Wolves burst, the Braves quickly got back within 36-30 only to have Parke Heritage get the last two baskets of the first half and it stayed a double-figure deficit for the Braves until early in the fourth quarter.

It got to be 57-41, but the Braves hadn't quit — and then they made their move.

Nine points by Zay Baker in a 12-3 run brought South within 60-53 with three minutes to go, but then the Braves had to foul and the Wolves usually made their free throws.

Even so, it was a 68-62 game with 32 seconds left after Jaylen Wells picked up a long rebound and sank a 3-pointer. But the Braves, who had already forced six turnovers in the quarter, couldn't pick up another loose ball.

"I thought our kids really played hard in the second half," coach Maynard Lewis of the Braves said afterward. "We've just got to make sure that we put four quarters together like we did late in the game."

"It was a great Indiana high school basketball game," said coach Rich Schelsky of the Wolves. "Hats off to coach Lewis and their guys. They never went away and pressured us about as well as anyone has all season."

Baker had 11 points in the fourth quarter and 25 for the game to lead South, while Wells had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds and Josh Morgan scored 10 with eight rebounds.

"We have another tough game against Columbus North tomorrow," Lewis promised, "and our guys will be ready."

Treigh Schelsky, who had 14 of his team's free throws in 16 attempts, led all scorers with 30 points and added seven rebounds for the home team, while Renn Harper scored 13 with six assists and five rebounds, B.T. Luce scored nine and Carter Crum — coming off the bench so senior Kyle Harpold could start — had eight points and nine rebounds.

"Really proud of our guys and their effort tonight," coach Schelsky said. "We competed. South is a really tough matchup for us with their length and athleticism.

"Our No. 1 goal tonight was to compete rebounding. We probably aren't ever going to outrebound a team like Terre Haute South, but we have to compete and not allow them to have multiple shots. I felt that for the most part we did a great job defensive rebounding ... what a great way to send our seniors [Harpold and Max Dowd] out. Both are tremendous kids who have been great representatives of our basketball program."